Sep 21, 2022 - Politics

Lawmakers, attorneys threatened after aiding Martha's Vineyard migrants

Two women speaking to news reporters.
An attorney for Lawyers for Civil Rights, left, and independent immigration attorney Rachel Self spoke to reporters on Martha's Vineyard last week. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Days after nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants were dropped off on Martha’s Vineyard, state legislators and attorneys who first aided the asylum seekers are receiving death threats. 

Why it matters: Tense debates over immigration policy have escalated in Massachusetts.

What’s happening: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken responsibility for flying the migrants to the island. They have since moved to Joint Base Cape Cod for shelter. 

  • Lawmakers and attorneys have been bombarded with calls, emails and tweets from people opposed to immigration criticizing the response. 
  • State Rep. Dylan Fernandes and Sen. Julian Cyr, Democrats who represent parts of the Cape and Islands, say they've received death threats. So do attorneys for the Boston-based nonprofit Lawyers for Civil Rights.

What they’re saying: “We’re taking it in stride,” Cyr said. “I try to stay focused on my constituents on responding, on making sure these Venezuelan immigrants are treated with dignity and respect."

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